Angor Lughy is an indigenous grape variety that is very well adapted to the climatic conditions of Herat province, although it is also found – albeit in smaller quantities – in the northern part of Afghanistan.
The Angor Lughy vine grows from 2 to 5 metres in height as a shrub with running stems covered in an extra-damaged skin.
The grapes are traditionally produced in mounded vineyards, whose plants are supported by piles of mud due to the strong winds in Herat.
The fruit is similar in size to cherries, with a diameter of between 2 and 4 cm and a weight of between 4 and 5 grams. The shape is spherical and the colour ranges from dark purple to black, maturing from small green fruits to light purple, violet and finally purple-black. All fruits are uniform in size and have four seeds inside. The bunches of grapes weigh 1.5 to 2 kilograms. These grapes have a more pronounced sweet and sour flavour than other varieties. The skin is thicker, with a waxy coating on the outside and a fleshy interior.
The best temperature for its growth is between 20 and 25 °C, while the temperature for ripening the fruit is between 30 and 35 °C. Farmers usually propagate it in January with cuttings produced from last year’s shoots. The cuttings are selected from the central part of the branches with a length of 50-75 cm, placed in the ground until the end of March and then soaked for 48 hours before sowing. It has a flat, shallow root system with larger, dark green leaves.
The grapes are picked by hand early in the morning or the evening of the day before to be sold on the market as fresh fruit or to be processed by farmers into sultanas, juice and vinegar called Skenjubin. It is made from Lughy grape vinegar and honey or sugar. This product is mainly produced and sold in local bakeries in Herat.
The bunches of grapes weigh 1.5 to 2 kilograms.
Since 2004, the export of fresh and dried fruit has increased by the day. With the introduction of artificial vinegar on the market and the increasing demand for other grape varieties from the Gulf countries and India, farmers have gradually abandoned the vineyards in Lughy and replaced them with other varieties in greater demand. Efforts have been made to motivate the confectionery industry and juice sellers to support Lughy grape producers by using this variety in their daily business.